Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forum Replies Created

  • in reply to: Booking Aerolíneas in local ARS currency
    tblank19 33 posts

    Very frustrating and leaving a bad impression given the rates they charge! Thank you both for the advice, I may steer clear

    in reply to: Booking Aerolíneas in local ARS currency
    tblank19 33 posts

    After pressing them a bit further they have conceded they will take payment in pesos, however, they will convert the USD quoted rates at the MEP rate on date of payment rather than the official rate. I am new to Argentina but presuming this means there will be no currency benefit as they are using the MEP rather than official FX rate? @JDB @Matt have you come across this practice at all?

    in reply to: Booking Aerolíneas in local ARS currency
    tblank19 33 posts

    Thank you JDB, much appreciated advice as always. I asked direct over email whether the USD rate will be converted at time of payment to ARS and then processed in ARS. They bluntly replied back saying the hotel does not accept Peso unless via bank transfer from an Argentinian bank account.

    I may push them once again to check this is the official policy and perhaps ask for a copy of the booking and payment t&cs / policies.

    If useful it is a relais and chateaux hotel in Patagonia.

    in reply to: Booking Aerolíneas in local ARS currency
    tblank19 33 posts

    Does anyone have experience of high end hotels in Argentina refusing to accept Peso? I have made a reservation online for a few months time and the hotel are insisting over email that the charge will be processed in USD as they do not accept Peso unless via transfer from an Argentinian bank account. I would like to figure out whether to push them further on this or if they are entitled to take this stance.

    in reply to: No Iberia availability on BA post-25th Oct 2024?
    tblank19 33 posts

    I wonder if Iberia are delaying the release of certain award seats to BA members by 7-10 days or so as there is currently no award availability on Madrid to South America flights past 26th October 2024

    in reply to: Iberia out, BA back possible with a 2-4-1?
    tblank19 33 posts

    Related to this point, does anyone know when booking a mixed Iberia outbound/BA return using 1x voucher if a specific Avios/Taxes combination needs to be select on the BA return for it to be recognised as part of the same voucher booking (and 50% Avios refunded after booking the return)? Iberia seems to provide the optimal combination as the first automatic option, whereas I tend to select the traditional 3rd option on BA and avoid the high avios/low taxes which comes up automatically

    in reply to: Mexico advice and suggestions
    tblank19 33 posts

    Thank you very much JDB, that is a an incredibly helpful response and good to see you reference a few of the places which have also been suggested by the hotel. We will definitely check out a number of those restaurants and appreciate the information on Playa Blanca and other surrounding areas. Is it common to eat around 6/6:30pm in the evening to take in the sunset or is 8pm+ more typical?

    Unfortunately we do not have a car booked so may need to rely on taxis and tours to get around to a few places in the day.

    in reply to: Mexico advice and suggestions
    tblank19 33 posts

    Apologies to bring up an old thread but seemed a good starting point when searching through Mexico posts.


    @JDB
    we have recently booked to spend a week in Zihuatanejo this coming February at LCQC and it seems as if you have been visited the area a few times. Do you have any recommendations with regards to suggested restaurants for good Mexican food and also any activities/day trips in the local area?

    tblank19 33 posts

    Slightly strange question but does anyone know whether it is possible to cancel only the outbound leg of a companion voucher booking but keep the return leg active? Note it was booked at T-355 and so have 2x seperate PNRs having called on release of the return to refund half of the avios

    tblank19 33 posts

    Just trialled this over the phone and was successful. I was able to access the additional I class availability over the phone but had to push the agent after initially being turned down as there were no standard Avios seats available. They checked with someone else for 5mins or so and then confirmed I could access it on a premium plus companion voucher booking and a few mins later successfully changed my booking (pending ticketing)

    tblank19 33 posts

    Apologies if this has been answered elsewhere but does anyone know whether you have access to the additional I class availability when calling up BA to change (change of dates and destination) an existing companion voucher booking?

    in reply to: Jamaica – hotel and destination advice
    tblank19 33 posts

    Thanks Stan, agree with your thoughts on Half Moon – that is why we are slightly hesistant!

    in reply to: Jamaica – hotel and destination advice
    tblank19 33 posts

    Thanks both, that is very helpful and consistent with what we have heard about those two. Round Hill does look exceptional but just trying to weigh up whether it is worth the significant premium over Half Moon which is already fairly pricey. Stan – did you visit or consider Half Moon at all?

    tblank19 33 posts

    Thanks, very useful. Will keep monitoring

    tblank19 33 posts

    Although we are having a year off MEX this year, for the last eight years, F Avios availability has been very easy. We have usually booked our two seats early on without any difficulty (and never needing to book anything like T-355) and booked additional F seats for family during the year. The availability you are seeing for the next few months is normal as it’s not a great time to visit.

    Thanks JDB. It does seem relatively open 10-12 months to departure, unfortunately I seem to have just missed that period. Wondering whether you have any experience of whether 2x F seats are likely to be released in the 0-3 months before departure stage for a Jan-March peak season trip?

    in reply to: Argentina / Chile trip planning advice
    tblank19 33 posts

    Hi tblank, I wrote some notes on my trip to Chile and Argentina which you might find useful. They are in the destination advice section-I think on the 2nd page. The post was called “some notes on Chile and Argentina.”

    Thank you, just reading through now

    in reply to: Argentina / Chile trip planning advice
    tblank19 33 posts

    Given your relatively short trip, you may want to focus principally on one country as you will otherwise waste too much time travelling. The distances in both countries are huge and brief episodes of bad weather can significantly disrupt flights. Some people like Santiago but, in my view, it’s a busy modern city with limited history and a lot less to offer than Buenos Aires, the Paris of the south, capital of one of the former richest countries in the world! I wouldn’t go to Santiago just because BA offers F on that route.

    Argentina currently also offers a big currency benefit. If you do go to Chile, the top two would be the glaciers (different and maybe better than Argentina) and the Atacama desert, both fairly long flights from Santiago. The wine areas in Chile are really quite unimpressive. In Argentina, within that timeframe, Bariloche is extraordinarily beautiful at that time of year, but there is a small risk it will be colder than the usual low 20s and blue skies. Great for hiking lower down or using the ski lifts, wild flowers, trips on the lake and much more. From there you can take a flight to Calafate to visit the glaciers. The Iguassu falls are worth a visit but ideally then returning to the UK via Brazil rather than back via Bs.As. The downtown airport in Bs.As, Aeroparque (AEP) makes life much easier as it’s only 10-15 to Recoleta or Palermo. Re other places in Argentina for a short trip, Mendoza the wine capital is much more interesting than Chile (similar to Bariloche on the edge of the Andes) but it’s a now a bit disneyfied and accordingly touristy and overpriced. The wine country in Cafayate is much more spectacular and very quiet as it’s harder to get to, but well worth the trip for the whole NW Argentina experience (not just wine) that’s very different to the rest of the country; probably too tight in 10 days, but maybe in 14.

    Many thanks for the detailed and very helpful reply JDB. I am starting to lean towards focusing on Argentina given that is where the majority of key sights for us are located. Bariloche does look beautiful and seems like a great place to spend a few relaxing days – it seems there is one flight every two days or so onto Calafate which could make it a great stop between BA and Patagonia either on the way there or back. Thank you for the tip on AEP over EZE.

    Do you have any experience of visiting Torres del Paine or Chilean Patagonia from Calafate/Argentinian side? Is there transfer and border crossing particularly long or painful?

    I think wine will look to save for another trip, possibly with Chile.

    tblank19 33 posts

    Thanks all for the very helpful responses!

    tblank19 33 posts

    Thanks both. Seems to be a bit up in the air! I wonder if anyone has success stories in booking an Iberia outbound/BA return as opposed to Iberia both ways (outbound from Madrid; return to London via Madrid)

    tblank19 33 posts

    Does anyone know whether you can use an amex 241 voucher on an outbound flight with Iberia (Madrid-Buenos Aries) and return flight back with British Airways (Buenos Aries – London)? If so, whether the Avios/Taxes pricing is similar when combining the 2x one ways on ba.com?

    in reply to: Virgin Atlantic status match with BA Gold?
    tblank19 33 posts

    To confirm, does anyone know whether the status match is processed after you provide evidence of a future booked flight OR is it only after the future booked revenue flight is completed?

    tblank19 33 posts

    Just reading through the above posts and wanted to test something. Are you able to use a companion voucher for a mixed IB/BA booking? For example, book Madrid-Buenos Aries outbound on IB online when released, then book Buenos Aries-London on BA return online at release and later call BA to get half the Avios refunded? Or due to taxes would this be better to call BA to add the return at release date?

    Looking online it seems the taxes on the return leg seem to be c. £800 for the BA direct flight (using 3rd option avios/cash) into LHR vs £325 via Madrid with IB when booking a one way online. Does anyone know whether it is cheaper tax-wise to add the return over the phone and merge the booking for an IB/BA mixed booking to South America?

    Many thanks in advance for any help!

    in reply to: Question about card bonuses (if new to Amex)
    tblank19 33 posts

    Thanks all. From the above, I take it that if you apply for Gold first, you can still get the bonus on Gold and then BAPP after that. Does anyone know if you need to have achieved the conditions for the bonus on Gold (and bonus landed in the account) before applying for the BAPP? Or could I apply for Gold, and then shortly after also apply for BAPP and still be eligible for both bonuses?

    tblank19 33 posts

    Great, thank you for letting me know

    tblank19 33 posts

    Thank you very much for the replies. I think we may try and book online once seats become available as you suggest and then call after. Is it correct that seats would likely show online at midnight UK time on the day of release?

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.